Ways to prioritize cybersecurity culture across your company

It's no secret that cyber attacks are on the rise, which means it's becoming increasingly critical for small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) to incorporate cybersecurity into their business strategies. Studies show that the average website is attacked 94 times per day, and that cybercriminals often target employees when attempting to infiltrate business websites.

Unfortunately, these attacks targeting employees are often successful. In fact, 54 percent of businesses that suffer data breaches identify employee error as the main cause of the breach. In many cases, this is because employees are unaware of common methods cybercriminals use to obtain sensitive company information. 

Here are some guidelines for companies that want to implement security awareness training and improve their cybersecurity without breaking the bank. 

Enforce Strong Passwords

Instruct your employees on secure password practices such as avoiding using names, birthdates, and easy number combinations such as "123." In addition, direct them to use a unique password for every account, and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible. Utilizing unique passwords for each account ensures that cybercriminals cannot use credentials compromised from one account to compromise another (e.g., using your email password to access a bank account).

Stay Secure While Working Remotely

Given the current environment, you should teach your employees about topics such as email and instant messaging security best practices, how to protect mobile data and devices, and how to defend themselves against phishing and other cyberattacks. In addition, instruct them to use a virtual private network (VPN) on their work devices to help keep company data and communications secure when working from home.

Improve Cybersecurity With Fewer Resources

You can develop these employee training programs yourself, or you can partner with a cybersecurity provider to conduct regular security awareness trainings. Some cybersecurity providers also offer phishing simulations to ensure employees are able to apply the skills they've learned. You can save time and money by choosing a provider that offers both, while receiving the most value from the training.

Cyberattacks on businesses are becoming more prevalent and sophisticated. As cybercriminals increasingly target the company's employees, it's imperative to ensure employees are knowledgeable on common attack methods and security best practices. Small to midsize businesses can improve their overall security posture by integrating cybersecurity awareness into their company culture without incurring major expenses.